Biden endorses Texas Democratic House candidate Julie Oliver

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has thrown his support behind progressive congressional candidate Julie Oliver in her race for a House seat in central Texas.

Oliver is challenging Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) in the state’s 25th District, one of several that Democrats are working to flip this year. In a statement first published by The Hill, Biden highlighted Oliver’s working-class background and focus on health care.

“Julie understands the struggle working families face every day,” Biden said. “She’s overcome poverty, homelessness and raised a son with a preexisting condition. She’s a champion for her community, fighting for affordable health care, housing, education, and good jobs in the clean economy. I’m proud to endorse Julie because we need leaders like her fighting for working families in Congress.”

Oliver told The Hill she was grateful for Biden’s endorsement, calling him “a relentless advocate for the working people of this country.”

“I’m honored to have the endorsement of the next president of the United States, Joe Biden,” she said. “The people of Texas’s 25th district are ready for leadership that fights for them, and I’m glad to have Vice President Biden by my side in that fight.”

Democrats are increasingly focusing on Texas as they seek to gin up support among voters there heading into the Nov. 3 elections. Biden and former President Obama have endorsed MJ Hegar in her Senate bid against incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R).

Oliver is facing off against Williams for the second time this November for a chance to represent a district that stretches between Austin and Fort Worth. Oliver lost to Williams by 8.7 points in 2018, a smaller margin than Williams’s 21-point victory against Democrat Kathi Thomas in 2016.

Additionally, Oliver outraised Williams in the third fundraising quarter, bringing in more than $900,000. Recent internal polling from the Oliver campaign shows Oliver down 2 points against Williams, well within the margin of error. 

However, the Democrat still faces an uphill climb against the four-term incumbent. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as “likely Republican.” 

The seat is among several that Texas Democrats are hoping to flip in November after six Republican incumbents announced that they would not seek reelection this year. 

The party has also taken aim at incumbent GOP Reps. Chip Roy in the 21st District, Van Taylor in the 3rd District and Michael McCaul in the 10th District. 

Oliver has the support of a number of progressive leaders including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). She is also a vocal proponent of “Medicare for All,” though Biden has not backed such a plan.

Biden’s endorsement follows his backing of other congressional candidates recently in Texas including Gina Ortiz Jones in the 23rd District, Sri Preston Kulkarni in the 22nd District, Candace Valenzuela in the 24th District and Wendy Davis in the 21st District.

Tags Bernie Sanders Chip Roy Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden John Cornyn Julie Oliver Michael McCaul Roger Williams Van Taylor

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